This weekend, I went to a so-called floatation spa and spent ninety minutes in an isolation tank. It was a completely new and meditative experience, floating in salt water in complete darkness and silence, with nothing but the sound of my slowed-down heartbeat. Afterwards, feeling relaxed and actually happy, I chatted a bit with the owner of the place about the concept of sensory deprivation and how the whole idea is deeply rooted in the fact that less is more. His words remain clear in my head – „We are so used to constantly being bombarded by information, social media, things we should get done, things we should own...there always has to be something. The idea behind having an experience of isolation such as this one is to be confronted with - Nothingness. And you realise just what a huge amount of thought and value can be found in that nothingness. You realise that Nothing actually contains much more.“

I found those words resonate so well with my thoughts on minimalism and they lingered in my head as I continued to think about the broader perspective of things.

Giving yourself headspace

Living the classic busy bee life, we are engulfed in so many things without seeming to have a choice at all and we underestimate the power of our mind. Firstly, it is in the subconscious that the stress and anxiety settle down, lurking from there even when you’d expect to feel relaxed. The mind is cluttered, over exhausted, uncared for and it’s difficult to pinpoint any thought, let alone a thought process that can lead you out of that state. Secondly (and this is the good news), your mind is where the power lies to change this completely.

For me, that is what minimalism is about. By acknowledging that you actually do have a choice and are not so powerless in front of the forces of everyday life, you start making a conscious effort to strip your life of all the superficial things and all the things you are told you need. You choose not to participate in the rat-race and to stop comparing yourself to others.

Consequently, you give yourself the headspace needed for introspection, thinking, growing, and achieving whatever it is that you truly, truly want to achieve.

The things that surround you impact your subconscious

A lot of people don’t realise this, but everything is a visual cue and the things you surround yourself with trigger subconscious thoughts in your head. It’s not a surprise at all that minimalism is the principal movement in interior design right now. It makes perfect sense because we seem to have come to a realisation as a society that all the decades of hoarding and collecting have not really made us content.

We feel more relaxed in open and clean spaces with simple geometry because they are visual cues for calmness and completion in our subconscious mind. „Declutter your living space and you will declutter your mind“ has become a cliche saying for a good reason – it’s completely true. It can be difficult in the beginning to rid yourself of the things in your home because you’re not quite sure what is essential and what isn’t, so people usually find a storage unit to temporarily put their stuff away in safe hands in order to just start living in a calm, cleared space.

Embracing minimalism really gets addictive as the feeling of shedding stress kicks in, and very soon you find it easy to decide which things you actually need, gradually getting rid of more and more.

Being in control

Let’s look at the term consumption. It’s not just about shopping or hoarding things. The food you eat, books, movies, culture, your friends’ stories – these are all things that you consume and not just on a physical level. They play a part in forming you as a person and cause stress and dissatisfaction if you just consume anything carelessly.

Being vegan is much more than just not eating meat and dairy, and as approaching your dietary habit with care and love makes you feel satisfied, the same goes for all other aspects of consumption. It’s not about consuming less, but rather about being choosy and following the good old „quality over quantity“ rule. This kind of approach makes you feel more in control as you are the one making choices, not powerlessly forced to consume a plethora of offerings.

Lastly, choosing to live with less means decidedly saying that you have enough and welcoming the wonderful feeling of gratitude in life. It makes you feel more present and relieves you of the nagging stress you put on yourself so that you can focus on what’s important in order to achieve your dreams. There lies the greatest piece of wisdom bestowed upon us by an admired (vegan) cartoon bear – „Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife. I mean the bare necessities, Old Mother Nature's recipes that bring the bare necessities of life.“

Author's Bio: 

Biologist by day, writer by night, and a huge geek. My fields of expertise could be summed up to health, fitness and nutrition-related topics. My interests are on the other hand wide and ever-evolving.